On Sunday, September 24 with winds gusting to 30 knots several bold and definitely keen kayakers took to the water to participate in the 6th annual Encounter Lakes Canoe and Kayak marathon. This race, facilitated by the Marathon Canoe Club of South Australia, is now a permanent fixture on the race calendar in South Australia but unfortunately attracted only a small field this year due mainly to the weather. The conditions were atrocious as local paddler Bill Griffen attempted to place the buoys in the water and Brad Butler, assisted by his team of volunteers erected a marquee for shelter. With no long distance racers registered and only a small field of paddlers in total the race starts were bought forward. Despite the conditions Phil Dingsdale set an excellent time over 12kms in his TK1 with a finish of 1h.10m.12s. Darren Richardson and partner Tracey Shrowder capably overtook the paddling field from behind to complete the 12kms in their TK2 in 1h.15m.32s closely followed by Brad Butler in a SK1. Rob and Virginia were not far behind with a TK2 time of 1h.16m.26s. It was great to see so many new race paddlers participate in the 4km recreational class. With Bob Hall getting a special mention for taking line honours in his slick red recreational kayak. The team of volunteers, Ian Price, Greg Roberts, Renee Stanley and James Dingsdale should be congratulated on facilitating an excellent event. Phil Dingsdale should also be congratulated for getting together such a large contingent of mature new paddlers from Goolwa. Kayak training now resumes at Encounter Lakes on Tuesdays and Thursday afternoons. The Marathon Canoe Club of South Australia specialises in long distance paddling and competition on predominantly inland, flat water. The marathon discipline is considered to be any paddle/race longer than 10km. The MCC conducts a number of marathon races at venues across South Australia including West Lakes, Onkaparinga River, Patawalonga, Lake and Encounter Lakes as well as a number of races on the River Murray.
More information is available from the clubs website – www.mcc.paddle.org.au